Wisconsin Union Directorate organizations, Global Connections and Society and Politics, held a meeting open to students Wednesday night to discuss the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act and the recent federal government shutdown.
To become more informed regarding the topics at hand, students first read reports from The New York Times, Vox and Politico to clarify facts about DACA and the shutdown before delving into a discussion about a variety of topics.
The group mostly agreed the Democrats using an impending government shutdown as leverage to force a vote on DACA was the right course of action.
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The Democrats were right in forcing a shutdown because the Republicans, who control Congress and the presidency, should not be able to pass whatever they want, University of Wisconsin student Ellen Bart said.
“The government shutdown was justified because I think that Democrats have to show that their votes in the Senate aren’t free,” Bart said. “They have to stand for something and demand it.”
The discussion was split on who was to blame for the shutdown: the Democrats or the Republicans.
The blame should land on Republicans, UW junior Eric Schumacher said.
“When I got the update on my phone and read it, I actually blamed the Republicans for it, for wanting to shutdown the government in order to not give protections to DACA citizens,” Schumacher said. “That seemed really weird to me.”
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But some students blamed both parties, citing a long history of government shutdowns and inaction from Congress as evidence of a political system which is increasingly polarized and willful.
This government shutdown is only one example of two parties that consistently refuse to work together, UW senior Caty Karwand said.
“I feel like I would blame both sides for their inability to compromise and their lack of flexibility,” Karwand said.